The Hillfit Minimum is something I came across about a month ago simply while visiting Hillfit.com. I was already familiar with Chris Highcock’s book HillFit because I received a copy when it first came out.
(As I mentioned in a podcast, the book was a sort of inspiration for designing workouts while traveling for the Australia 21 Convention, both with ideas directly from the book, and ideas of my own that sprang from it).
So what is the Hillfit Minimum? It’s a simple starting point for people new to the book, and new to exercise. It consists of
- a wall sit
- a pushup plank
Each is (eventually) intended to be performed for ~60 seconds.
What is interesting is that when I first stumbled across this, it struck me as a way to start the day, or even relax, after long hours spent working on a computer. And it appeared to be something that while intense enough to actively focus on, it would not induce enough fatigue to interfere with my workouts, and recovery from said workouts.
I tried it immediately, and have been performing the HFM nearly every non-workout day of the week since. Typically in the mornings, sometimes later in the day. I perform each movement for 60-70 seconds, and no more.
I could go significantly longer, but, these are not intended as exercise for me. These are intended to wake me up, and wake my body up. The HFM is great for this because these two exercises together, allow me to lightly contract and uncontract nearly every major muscle group in my body (or just, maintain a static contraction).
Even at 60 seconds a pop, the HFM allows me to focus, to breathe, and to contract.
I’ve never been a personal fan of outright meditation, but I suppose the way I’m using the HFM is not far from it. I’ve also taken to adding on to, and modifying the HFM for personal context and goals, including the following :
- VMO massage during the wall sit (left quadriceps is still recovering from surgery)
- wall sit at different angles
- 12 second negative at the end of the plank (stop watch is in front of me for timing)
- holding the plank in slightly different positions
- following the wall sit with x3 slow body-weight squats
- following the wall sit by balancing on one leg with knee locked + active contraction of surrounding tissue
- laying on my SpineWorx for 10-15 minutes
- left leg terminal knee extension, split stance, body weight only
- cover my eyes with palms, take three really deep breaths
- hop in place, barefoot, mid-foot strike, 30-60 seconds (this is great for “lubing” my left knee up at any time)
- the classic : going for a walk outside
- substitute a super-long duration static belt squat (2-3 minutes), low intensity, for the wall sit (active “stretch” of my surgically repaired/tightened MPFL)
So utterly simple, and yet, a big boost to my daily quality of life, and I’m thankful to Chris for that.
Chris also released V 2.0 a few weeks ago, which features multiple alumni speakers of The 21 Convention [James/Skyler/Bill – the big 3!).